The Chordoma Foundation has made a seed grant of $75,000 to Adrienne Flanagan, M.D., Ph.D., of University College, London, and her Jackson Laboratory collaborator, Mike Sasner, Ph.D., to develop a new mouse model for chordoma, a difficult-to-treat bone cancer affecting the skull and spine.
Flanagan had discovered that 97 percent of chordoma patients have an inherited change in a gene called brachyury, She hypothesized that this change may lead to the development of benign notochordal cell tumors, believed to be the precursor to chordoma.
The funding will allow Flanagan to test this theory by collaborating with Sasner and his Jackson Laboratory colleagues to develop a genetically engineered mouse with the same genetic change, a potentially critical first step in developing a genetic mouse model of chordoma.
The mice that are generated through this project will be made available to academic and industry scientists through The Jackson Laboratory's repository.
The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and the new genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Conn. It employs more than 1,500 staff, and its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.